Thursday evening, the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team sent a message to the rest of tournament field by breaking the record for the largest margin of victory by an American men’s basketball team in the Olympics with an 83-point blowout victory over Nigeria. The record was previously held by the 1956 Olympic team as they defeated Thailand 101-29 with a 72-point margin of victory.
Their next game is scheduled for Saturday against Lithuania at 9:30am ET on NBC Sports.
Unlike their previous game against Tunisia, USA jumped out to a large lead led by Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant scoring the teams first 13 points in the first three minutes of game-play. It wasn’t until after the 6-minute mark Nigeria would score their first points from a pair of free-throws made by Al-Farouq Aminu. LeBron James was the only other starter to score as Durant and Kobe dominated scoring 23 of the team’s first 25 points.
Before the reserves came, the lead was only at 17 but things would drastically change. Led by Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook, the team would go on a 21-12 run pushing the lead to 24 points. The US men’s would finish the first half scoring 78 total points marking this the most points scored in a first half by an American team. In the 3rd quarter, USA would hit triple digits by the five minute mark with the game all but over.
This win was heavily contributed to the eye-dropping shooting of Carmelo Anthony as he went 10-12 from beyond the arc scoring 37 points to finish the game. Their bench also outscored it’s starters 111-45 in the 83-point victory. The American’s also topped their own records for 3-pointers made and field-goal percentage at 26 and 71 respectively.--